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"I don't know if this is the right moment to defend it, but honestly, I think these are the true world championships in our sport, even though we have to live with two one-day races that offer the individual and teams honours. For...

Photo: Sirotti








14.10.2014 @ 15:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Movistar failed to defend their title in the Tour of Beijing but the results were enough to secure a second straight overall victory in the UCI WorldTour. As Alejandro Valverde won the individual rankings, manager Eusebio Unzue celebrates one of the most successful seasons in his long career as team manager.


The Tour of Beijing, final event of the 2014 UCI WorldTour, also put an end to the Movistar Team's most successful season so far. The telephone squad claimed the biggest honours in the pro scene by conquering both world rankings within their reach: the teams classification, a back-to-back triumph after their late surge in 2013, and the individual one, thanks to Alejandro Valverde's excellent performances throughout the year. In the teams ranking, the Movistar Team (1,440 points) beat American outfit BMC Racing Team (1,212) and Russian-backed squad Tinkoff-Saxo (1,186 points.)


During their fourth year in Movistar colours, Eusebio Unzué's squad which celebrated its 35th consecutive season in the pro ranks in 2014, improved their already outstanding figures from the three previous seasons, claiming 34 victories - the third best tally for the Blues, after 1998 (36 wins) and 1997 (35) – with ten different riders. Besides, 2014 brought the first three-week stage race win for the Movistar Team with Nairo Quintana's unforgettable success in the Giro d'Italia. The Spanish squad has achieved five podiums in the last seven Grand Tours - Vuelta 2012, Tour & Vuelta '13, Giro & Vuelta '14.


The Movistar Team keeps building on a leading project in cycling: added to their sporting success, the squad has involved a true legion of fans, having reached in 2014 the 300,000 mark as a combination of their four main social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.)

"Winning both WorldTour classifications makes us immensely happy," manager Eusebio Unzué said. "It's a reward to our sponsors' big efforts to keep us alive as well as to all our collaborators. A prize for everyone being part of this structure, and above all, for all our riders for their extraordinary commitment.


"It's not that we were really riding to conquer this victory, but our riders performing extremely well in all races we took part in made us jump into the lead. It's the icing on top of the cake, the best way to end our season, a top mark for a great year, and something that should be more appreciated than it really is.


"I don't know if this is the right moment to defend it, but honestly, I think these are the true world championships in our sport, even though we have to live with two one-day races that offer the individual and teams honours. For me, these nine months are the biggest deal because they value your efforts throughout the whole season.


"Ever since the first race we did pretty well if we weren't just outstanding. Alejandro and Nairo were the two taking the most points, but there was a huge team behind team. You can't win such a ranking with just two individuals. Besides, one of the reasons that makes me even more happy about this result is snatching the win in front of really big squads, the most important in the world. That's why when you win, even more when you take back-to-back triumphs, you can say you were the best.


"We keep bringing Movistar better and better results with every year passing. 2014 will be a highlight in our history after we achieved our first ever Grand Tour for Telefónica with Nairo's Giro. Meanwhile, we kept claiming victories in classics, one-week stage races - we were close to the Tour podium, we snatched yet another Vuelta top-3... Plus, we won in all ways we could: mountain stages, sprint finishes, team and individual time trials, one-week and three-week tours. Somehow, this shows how diverse our roster is, how talented our boys are.


"Alejandro had one of his best seasons ever, Nairo doesn't stop growing up as a cyclist and already conquered his first GT, many youngsters have taken a step forward... All of that makes us face the future with hope and confidence, but we're really conscious about how difficult is to improve what we got in 2014. You just have to look at the other teams' rosters to realize that one day, it might be our time not to fulfil our goals. Yet, the team we have aboard makes us stay ambitious - I think we're forced to keep looking at things that way, giving the best we can."


· UCI WorldTour team ranking - Winners

· 34 victories, with 10 different riders: Valverde (11); Quintana (7); Malori (5); Dowsett, Lobato, Jesús Herrada (2);  Rojas, Gorka Izagirre, Ion Izagirre, Dayer Quintana, Movistar Team (1).


Grand Tours
- 1 overall victory (Quintana, Giro d'Italia)
- 2 overall podiums (Quintana, 1st, Giro; Valverde, 3rd, Vuelta)
- 5 stage wins (3 - Vuelta; 2 - Giro) 


· 8 medals
- World Road Race Championhips (Valverde - bronze)
- TT Commonwealth Games (Dowsett - gold)
- Spanish ITT Championship (Valverde - gold; Ion Izagirre - silver; Castroviejo - bronze)
- Spanish RR Championship (Ion Izagirre - gold; Valverde - silver)
- Italian ITT Championship (Malori - gold)


· 6 one-day races
- Flèche Wallonne
- Clásica San Sebastián
- Roma Maxima
- GP Miguel Indurain
- Vuelta a Murcia
- Prueba Villafranca 


· 4 stage races
- Giro d'Italia
- Tour de San Luis 
- Vuelta a Andalucía
- Vuelta a Burgos 


· 99 podiums
· 258 racing days
· 74 races, 14 countries
· 314,666km covered during the season



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